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Can updated climate pledges limit warming well below 2°C?

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Abstract: As part of the 2015 Paris Agreement, countries agreed to regularly revisit and enhance their national climate strategies and, every 5 years, to offer new emissions targets in the form of nationally determined contributions (NDCs). This year’s 26th Conference of Parties provides a waypoint in this updating process as countries have been offering enhanced or completely new NDCs (henceforth, updated pledges). We find that compared with the 2015 pledges, the updated pledges suggest a strengthening of ambition through 2030. By calculating probabilistic temperature outcomes over the 21st century for five emissions scenarios, we find that the updated pledges provide a stronger near-term foundation to deliver on the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement of reducing the probability of the worst levels of temperature change this century and increasing the likelihood of limiting temperature change to well below 2°C.

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